Hey Marina… Welcome and a HUGE congrats on your recent competitions and placements. Which competitions did you competed in?
I competed in the NPC Terminator in Tucson, AZ. It was my first competition. I placed Second in Figure Masters 35 Plus, and Third in Figure Novice Class. I am 41 and very pleased with the results.
Awesome work. Totally GREAT placements for your Grand Entrance into the Figure Competition world. What was your competition experience like?
I was nervous and excited at the same time. But I had great support my coach Karen Sessions! Thank you btw! Also, I was able to relax enough because my boyfriend took many things upon him that day. The backstage experience was the best! I’ve met the most fantastic ladies. They were absolutely great! On stage I felt lost at first but quickly figured out that everything will be ok if I’ll do what I know I should do.
Its’ always great to be on the prep journey. It’s like I get to go through it again. 🙂 So, what got you involved in figure competitions?
I love to work out! Always did. But at one point last October I realized I want to challenge myself more. I’ve set a goal to compete and did it. In November I bought “Figure Competition Secrets” and started to implement the Figure Prep System Karen Session wrote. In February I finished my 16 week prep but was not looking as I wanted to look on stage. At this point I contacted Karen and started to train with her “personally” through Internet support.
Having One-on-One Coaching is always a plus. What was your competition weight and how tall are you?
I am 5’5 and on Saturday July 12 I weighted at 124.6 lbs.
You pulled in nice and tight for your show. How long did it take you to prep for your contest?
Overall from November 2013. But actual prep program that I would consider I started on February 15 2014. It took 16 weeks.
You kept a lot of your muscle mass for that long of a prep. Really good work. How long have you been into fitness and working out?
All my life really.
Have you always been athletic? Did you play sports growing up?
Through middle and high school I’ve been involved in gymnastics. In college I started to get interested in a weight training which continued in post college Army years.
Your dedication to sports and the Military rolled over into your Figure Competition goals. What motivates you to keep in shape?
I just love the feeling that training gives me. I am an endorphin junkie lol. Really don’t need a motivation.
Oh yeah, there are a lot of other women who are like that. How do you stick to your goals?
I have support of my boyfriend. He is amazing! It was a point when I almost threw a towel because I did not see results I wanted. But he calmed me down, said I can do it and I did continue.
Having a strong support system is a HUGE benefit. What was your competition diet like?
I am eating my starchy carbs (oat bran, yams and sugar-free rice puffs) early in a morning around my workouts and my non starchy carbs for the rest of a day. All my meals have lean protein (whey protein, extra lean ground turkey, grilled turkey and chicken breasts, lean steak, salmon and shrimp are my favorite choices). I have 6 meals a day. Being Russian I cannot live long without cabbage, beets and cherries!
So you mange your diet and fat loss with carbs primarily. What is a basic cheat meal for you?
I dislike junk food. Never looked appealing to me. So I treat myself with my concussion of Greek yogurt, whey protein, unsweetened cocoa powder and frozen cherries/blueberries. Yum! The other treat is Gelato!
Frozen berries ARE a great treat that’s healthy. What was your prep training like?
It’s a split training:
- Monday: Hamstrings/Traps/Calves
- Tuesday: Shoulders/Abs
- Wednesday off/Cardio
- Thursday: Quads/Calves
- Friday: Chest/Back/Abs
- Saturday: Triceps/Biceps/ Calves
- Sunday: OFF
Nice body part grouping. What’s your best body part?
Arms and abs.
What body part do you like to train the most?
My booty!!! Hurts but so worth it!
What are your favorite forms of cardio?
Honestly I prefer walking with my dogs and sprints. Farmers walk is something that I enjoy. Weird I know.
The Farmers Walk is a good exercise, yet hardly anyone does it these days. How did you balance your prep with your life and living in the real world?
Now this is a challenge. I get up at 3.45 am and go straight to a gym. Then work from 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. – I am a director of a preschool. Then straight home to do some homework – I am working towards my second degree. And finally I try to have some time to spend with my younger daughter (11), my boyfriend, and our zoo (two dogs, a cat and some small animals J). We cook all our food for a week on Sunday and I pre-pack all my meals.
I remember the very early mornings of prep training. Are there any sacrifices? If so, how do you overcome them?
Social life. But honestly my life is just busy period, so competition prep was not that caused to cut a social life. I still try to find a time to meet up with my friend, unfortunately not as often as I want too.
Good for you for keeping balance in your life. What do you find to be the hardest part about getting into contest shape and how do you overcome it?
Backs of my legs show the signs of my age and caring two children. Walking lunges are my hate/love move, they hurt but deliver. Lately I added kettle bell swings for an extra oomph.
Do you have any future competition plans?
I am planning to compete in November. The competition is going to be a National Qualifier, so I assume the athletes will be even more prepared and competition will be bigger. But I plan to have fun after training hard for the next four months. And hopefully place again!
Keep pushing forward… Do you use supplements? If so, what are your favorite supplements?
CLA is my favorite one, creatine and BCAAs comes next. Whey Protein I consider a food item. I do use pre-workout formulas and my favorite is C4 from Cellucor.
Great supplement line-up. CLA is a great supplement. Does your family support your fitness endeavors?
We are a very active family. My boyfriend trains with me in the morning three times a week. My younger daughter is very interested in it and starting working out. My older daughter is in the US NAVY and keeping herself in shape. They all support me and very proud of me.
There you go… Get your support group in the gym. What hobbies do you have outside of fitness?
I love to paint. Acrylic painting on canvases is my dream leisure time investment.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to get in such outstanding shape as you are in?
Cut all junk out of your diet, start to move and then continue to move hard till you get there!
Great advice! How has competing in figure changed your life?
I became even more disciplined person. Also many of my friends are now joined a gym and cutting crap from their diets.
You seem to have become a role model, too. Do you have any long-term goals in the fitness industry?
I would like eventually get my certification in corrective exercise program and work beside my boyfriend, who is a chiropractor, helping people to overcome many physical issues.
Excellent! If you could give one piece of advice to a first time figure competitor, what would it be?
Don’t give up! It’s all pays off. Push hard but don’t be hard on yourself.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I wanted to thank Karen for being such a great coach. Always on top and gives very detailed advices.
Do you have a Facebook page you would like to share?
Congrats again and thanks for chatting with us…
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